As Humanity continue to grapple with the battle against Covid-19, there is an unblemished indication that the battle against this global enigma cannot be accomplished if leaders continue to pay protracted lip service to issues concerning access to portable water. Water remains to be the biggest armament in the combat against Covid-19.

Here in Ghana, the government of the day came up with an intervention to cushion the populace and aid the fight, by absorbing water bills of the months of April, May and June. This intervention though welcomed by the people, there are few associated challenges that continue to hamper the intended impact of the of the intervention.

Availability of water and sanitation facilities remain a big challenge for Ghana. While the country enjoys a marked success in achieving more than 80% access to safe water, the same cannot be said for sanitation. That achievement is eclipsed because of the meagre 15% coverage of improved sanitation. (Source: JMP 2015). The direct water supply channels of the country are limited to the middle and upper class citizens who are in the minority, if we consider the total population of the country. People living in informal settlements, those who are homeless, rural populations, women, children, older persons, people with disabilities and all other groups are still vulnerable due to lack of  continuous access to sufficient and affordable water. This is as a results of the above mentioned groups relying on private water outlets who have refused to comply with the Presidents directive not to sell water within the stipulated period.

The demand for the consumption of water has shot up astronomically due to the need to keep excellent personal hygiene. This phenomenon though positive for the tussle, it has resulted into water rationing in some regions especially areas grappling with illegal mining, with their activities polluting water bodies that serve as sources for some treatment stations in the country.

There is the need for total attitudinal change with regards to water consumption or usage and the observation of the laid down protocols. Efficient and effective use of water to reduce wastage is very crucial in measuring the impact of water in the fight against the pandemic. We may move into perilous moments if kid’s gloves are used in confronting the pandemic as the numbers are continuously on the ascendency.

Water for Rural Africa (WRA) wishes to call on all stakeholders for the organisation of a virtual policy forum to fashion out strategies to resolve the growing demand and stress on water resources. In the interim, there is an urgent need for government to take stock of available water from different sources and also Identify hotspots of water insecurity in urban and rural areas to plan and implement contingency measures. There is the need for leaders and stakeholders to move away from the purview of defining water insecurity as a mere “demand and supply” problem.  

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